North-facing orientation North or north-east facing houses are the most attractive since they receive the most direct sunshine throughout the day, particularly during the winter when the sun is at its lowest. This may make a huge impact in an urban environment where sunshine is scarce.
South-facing orientation Houses with this orientation will usually have their most valuable feature: a view of the south sea. There are two types of south-facing houses: those that have glass windows on the south side, and those that do not. Those that do not should be covered with a shade cloth until spring when daffodils and tulips come into bloom.
East-facing orientation A house with an east-facing orientation will get the most sunlight during the morning and afternoon hours, but not as much as a north-or south-facing house. Therefore, it needs to be protected from the sun's heat with a shade cover. However, just like a south-facing house, an east-facing house with good ventilation might not need a roof cover.
West-facing orientation West-facing houses receive less light than east- or north-facing houses, but more light than south-facing ones. Thus, they require less energy for heating or cooling than other directions. They also tend to be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer than other directions.
The best orientation for living spaces is between 15degW and 20degE of true or'solar' north (but 20degW–30degE of true north is acceptable). It enables typical eave overhangs to permit winter light to heat the structure while excluding summer solar with no effort or additional cost from the inhabitants. Early housing in cold climates was not built with insulation in mind; instead, it was designed with adequate ventilation to allow outside air to move through the house efficiently. In more recent years, houses have been insulated better to make them warmer during the winter months.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of orientation. If you plan to live in your house for many years you should consider the orientation when planning its layout. For example, if you plan to have a family then it makes sense to put the children's rooms on the same side of the house as the nursery will be easier to clean.
Face directions are important in areas where earthquakes are common. Seismic standards require that most new homes be "earthquake resistant" which means they must be constructed with this safety in mind. The foundation and walls should be strong enough to withstand shock without breaking down due to excessive stress caused by an earthquake. The building code also requires that all household appliances be located away from the center of the home in a place where they won't be damaged by falling objects. These things should be considered when choosing the location of houses on seismic zones.
This is an excellent exposure for your house and outside space! It is, without a doubt, the nicest and brightest side, and if your garden faces this way, you will have natural light virtually all day. This is perfect exposure.
The other sides of the house are not as bright during the day due to the shadows from buildings or trees, but they get much brighter at night when there's no sunlight around to reflect off of objects. So overall, an ideal exposure for a house is one that is fairly well-lit during the day and very dark at night.
If you want to learn more about exposure, check out our article on this topic: How to Take Good Photographs of Your House.
Consider positioning the home such that its longest sides face north and south—so the longitudinal axis runs east-west—to maximize the warming and cooling impact, but also consider the overall floor design. To collect winter sunshine, you'll want the majority of windows and inhabited living rooms to face south. In summer, try to avoid having your bedrooms look out on the ocean or some other heat source. These areas can be cooled by opening their windows during hot days or in warmer climates, using air conditioners.
You should also think about the orientation of the house with respect to the sun's path across the sky each day. If it faces east or west, it will get more sunlight during the morning and evening hours when most homes suffer from an energy shortage. Those directions offer up significant savings as well.
Finally, consider the climate of the area where the house is located. Houses in cold climates should be oriented so that they receive as much southern exposure as possible. This will help them gain access to warmth during the winter months and minimize their exposure to cold winds.
In summary, the direction the house faces is very important for maximizing energy efficiency. Try to position it such that the longest side faces north or south, and if possible, seek to have those dimensions run east-west.
The closer it is to these optimal positions, the more energy efficient it will be.